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For Immediate Release
March 12, 2002

Contact:

Bob Biersack
Ron Harris
Ian Stirton
Kelly Huff

 

CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISING DECLINES IN 2001

WASHINGTON – Congressional campaign fundraising totaled $294.9 million in 2001, a drop of 7.4% when compared to 1999, as reflected in year-end reports analyzed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). This represents the first decline in off-year fundraising since the Commission began compiling off-year financial totals in 1987.

Nearly all the decline was found in U.S. Senate campaigns, where candidates raised a total of $96.7 million in 2001, down 18.6% from 1999 levels. They reported disbursements of $30.3 million, down 30% from the previous cycle. Senate candidates had a cash balance of $84.3 million at the end of 2001. It is important to note, however, that the states having Senate races vary each cycle and the closely contested and open-seat Senate campaigns in 2002 are mainly in small population states where campaign finance activity tends to be smaller. In 2000, open-seat races in Florida, New York and New Jersey and competitive races in other large states made Senate campaigns significantly more expensive than in previous years.

Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives raised $198.2 million during 2001, a decline of just under 1% from 1999 levels. These campaigns spent $107.1 million, an increase of 8% over 1999. They reported cash-on-hand of $202.2 million as of the end of the year, up from the $187.7 million balance reported at the end of 1999.

The drop in House fundraising occurred despite ongoing reapportionment and redistricting efforts following the 2000 census. This process generally creates more uncertainty about district boundaries and more open-seat House campaigns, both of which usually result in more fundraising by candidates. For example, House campaign receipts in 1991, the last post-census period, were 26% higher than in 1989.

Declines are most apparent for House Democratic challengers, with the number of candidates and amounts raised both significantly lower in 2001. Comparisons of the top 50 House challengers in contributions from individuals (a measure of broad financial support for a campaign) shows the scope of the decline. In 1999, all 50 candidates received at least $104,000 in these contributions, but in 2001 the 50th challenger received only $44,387. In 1999 only 14 of the top 50 were Republicans while in 2001, 23 were members of the GOP. (Note that district boundaries have not been defined yet in all states, and as a result the "challenger" or "open seat" status of some House candidates is subject to change.)

The following table compares non-election year activity (reported in millions of dollars) for all Senate and House campaigns during the last eight election cycles.

Year Receipts Disbursements Cash on Hand

2001 $294.9 $137.5 $286.5
1999 $318.4 $142.3 $285.1
1997 $232.8 $112.1 $207.2
1995 $184.9 $96.5 $141.7
1993 $170.7 $102.5 $121.4
1991 $159.9 $89.5 $159.7
1989 $128.1 $70.8 $129.1
1987 $111.5 $58.6 $108.9

Contributions from individuals remain the largest source of funds for Congressional candidates. The $170.1 million raised from individuals represented 58% of all fundraising during the year. Contributions from PACs and other candidate committees totaled $91.4 million or 31% of all receipts, while funds from candidates themselves were $17.4 million or 6% of all fundraising. In 1999, 60% of receipts came from individuals, 27% from PACs and other committees, and 8% from candidates themselves.

This release contains summaries for 2002 cycle Congressional campaigns, comparisons over the past six election cycles, a listing for each Senate candidate covering the full six-year cycle and each House candidate for 2001. Also provided are top 50 lists for Senate and House campaigns for receipts, disbursements, cash-on-hand, debts, and the major sources of receipts. House top 50’s are included for each category of campaign (incumbents, challengers, and open seats), providing a look at early fundraising success by non-incumbent candidates during this election cycle.

Footnotes

  1. Figures in the first two tables and the detailed listings of candidates cover from January 1, 2001, or whenever the campaign registered during the year, through December 31, 2001.
  2. Net receipt and net disbursement figures are total receipts and total disbursements, as reported by the campaigns, minus any money transferred between committees of the same campaign.
  3. Columns entitled "Contrib from Other Cmte’s" are monies contributed to campaigns by PACs and other committees as reported by the campaigns. Other committees include primarily committees of other candidates.
  4. On the Senate listings, the column titled "Candidate Support" includes contributions by the candidate as well as loans made or guaranteed by the candidate. The column titled "Trans from Other Auth." Includes moneys transferred from House committees of candidates for the Senate, as well as proceeds from joint fundraising activity among several candidates or committees. Contributions from individuals and PACs made through these joint fundraising efforts are NOT included in the "Individual Contributions" or "Other Cmte Contributions" columns.
  5. Open-seat races are those in which the incumbent did not seek reelection.
  6. Detailed listings of candidates include all those House general election candidates who reported receipts before December 31, 2001.
  7. Some House members who are or were running for the Senate in 2002 changed their former House campaign committees into their Senate campaign committees. Financial activity related solely to their Senate campaigns cannot be isolated. (See Chambliss [GA] and Thune [SD]).
  8. Several candidates report significant debts, at least some of which were incurred in previous election cycles. These include;
    • Gordon Smith (OR)
    • James Humphreys (WV)
    • Phil Sudan (TX)
    • Roger Kahn (GA)
    • Darrell Issa (CA
    • Doug Ose (CA)
    • Thomas Reiser (TX)
  9. Party abbreviations in the listing of House campaigns are:
    • DEM - Democrat LIB - Libertarian
    • DFL - Democrat/Farmer/Labor (MN) PAF - Peace and Freedom
    • REP - Republican IND - Independent
    • RTL - Right to Life LBL - Liberal

Tables

The tables in [HTML] format can be read using your web browser. The [EXCEL] files are workbooks that can be read using Excel from Microsoft.

  • Off Year Activity of 2002 Congressional Campaigns [HTML] [EXCEL]
  • Off Year Financial Activity of Congressional Candidates – 1992-2002 [HTML] [EXCEL]
  • Six Year Financial Summary for 2002 Senate Campaigns through December 31, 2001 [HTML] [EXCEL]
  • Senate Top 50’s [EXCEL]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Receipts [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Disbursements [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Cash on Hand [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Senate Campaign Debts [HTML]
  • House Top 50’s [EXCEL]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Campaigns by Receipts [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Campaigns by Disbursements [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Campaigns by Cash on Hand [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Campaigns by Debts Owed [HTML]
  • House Incumbent Top 50s [EXCEL]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Incumbent Campaigns by Receipts [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Incumbent Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Incumbent Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Incumbent Campaigns by Disbursements [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Incumbent Campaigns by Cash on Hand [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Incumbent Campaigns by Debts Owed [HTML]
  • House Challenger Top 50s [EXCEL]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Challenger Campaigns by Receipts [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Challenger Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Challenger Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Challenger Campaigns by Disbursements [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Challenger Campaigns by Cash on Hand [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Challenger Campaigns by Debts Owed [HTML]
  • House Open Seat Top 50s [EXCEL]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Open Seat Campaigns by Receipts [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Open Seat Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Open Seat Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Open Seat Campaigns by Disbursements [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Open Seat Campaigns by Cash on Hand [HTML]
    • 2001-2002 Top 50 House Open Seat Campaigns by Debts Owed [HTML]

 

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